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Warner Home Video presents
Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection: Volume 3 (1951)

“There, there, son. Ain’t no cat gonna hurt you. No sir.”
- Spike (Mel Blanc)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: April 25, 2008

Stars: Mel Blanc, June Foray
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 04h:01m:06s
Release Date: September 11, 2007
UPC: 012569797253
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A+ A+A-B C+

DVD Review

My four-year-old daughter has her fair share of favorite cartoons. Like most girls her age, she tends to watch everything from The Backyardigans to Max & Ruby, with some SpongeBob SquarePants thrown in for good measure. Still, despite the wide variety of animated shows out there these days, the one series she simply can’t get enough of is over a half-century old. That series is none other than Tom and Jerry, which has stood the test of time and continues to entertain kids of all ages, myself included. Warner continues to give us “best of” DVD sets for the series, compiling some of the best skits each time around. Their latest release, Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection: Volume 3, gives us another 35 shorts in all of their original, uncut glory.

It’s no secret that Tom and Jerry don’t get along very often, but, as evidenced by most of these shows, theirs is the ultimate love/hate relationship. I’m not sure Tom could go on with life if Jerry wasn’t around, and vice versa, but there are some shorts here that actually find the two, gasp!, working together. During Neapolitan Mouse, the two even go to Italy together, where they interact with adoring fans. This is a rather surreal short that asks us to view the pair as “actors” and not merely the animated characters we usually view them as. They also pair up in Busy Buddies, where the cat and mouse team up to protect a baby in trouble. While they’re arguably much more entertaining as mortal enemies, it’s nice to see them out of their element.

Fans of the Spike character will be very happy with this collection, as their beloved bulldog shows up in numerous outings. He continues to catch Tom doing bad things to either his son, or himself, even though the cat is usually wronging the dog unintentionally. The best Spike-centric episodes include The Dog House, Barbecue Brawl, and Hic-cup Pup, with The Framed Cat being a prime example of Tom doing unintentional harm to the pooch, and doing even more damage to himself.

Unfortunately, we don’t get any visits from Jerry’s guitar-pluckin’ cousin, Pecos, but there are a few appearances by the mouse’s duckling friend. This Donald Duck impersonator appears in Southbound Duckling, where he has trouble heading south for the winter. That’s My Mommy is both funny and annoying, as the duckling won’t budge from the notion that Tom is its mother. The cat’s reactions are priceless, but the duckling’s constant whining gets old fast. Finally, in Downhearted Duckling, we get a take on the “Ugly Duckling” story, where Jerry has to convince his yellow friend that looks are not an issue in this case.

There are countless other classics among these 35 shorts, with some of the major standouts being A Mouse in the House, Tennis Chumps, Life With Tom, and Timid Tabby. We also get many of these shorts in their original, CinemaScope, widescreen aspect ratios, and they’re even anamorphically enhanced for this release. Among those presented in CinemaScope are Pet Peeve, The Egg and Jerry, Tops with Pops, Feedin’ the Kiddie, Royal Cat Nap, and a few of those that I’ve already mentioned. Having these in their original video presentations, along with the sheer hilarity of each and every short makes this new collection a no-brainer purchase.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio2.40:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesyes
Anamorphicyesyes


Image Transfer Review: The image quality varies from short to short, but it’s evident that there’s been some great restoration work done here. The full frame shorts look good in their own right, but the 15 episodes (all of Disc 2) that are presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen look better than they ever have, with a rich, vivid color palette dominating every frame.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: The original mono is our only audio choice, and these shorts sound quite good despite their age. The dialogue and music work nicely together, with the dialogue never being overridden by any of the other audio elements.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 35 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
9 Other Trailer(s) featuring Popeye The Sailor: 1933-1938, Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5, Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale, A Flintstones Christmas Carol, Space Ghost & Dino Boy: The Complete Series, Birdman & The Galaxy Trio: The Complete Series, Tex Avery’s Droopy: The Complete Theatrical Collection, Animaniacs: Volume 3, Pinky and The Brain: Volume 3
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Cardboard Tri-Fold
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. The Karate Guard – 2005 Tom and Jerry episode.
Extras Review: The extras are all on Disc 2 and include a collection of previews for other Warner animated DVD releases. Then, it’s on to Cat and Mouse: The Tale of Tom and Jerry, a 31-minute documentary that chronicles the making of these shorts. This great piece features archival footage of the days when these shorts were originally produced and we also get wonderful interviews with the likes of Leonard Maltin, William Hanna, and Joseph Barbera.

There’s also an eight-minute, 2005 Tom and Jerry short, entitled The Karate Guard. This entertaining cartoon looks and sounds great, but it lacks some of the magic contained in the original shorts.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Everyone’s favorite cat and mouse games resume in Warner’s Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection: Volume 3 2-disc DVD collection. Their constant battles also involve some of their friends, and Warner’s continued commitment to excellence when it comes to this series is evident in this new release as well.

 


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